Investigating a Modern Method for Improving the Management and Protection of Heritage Assets In Threshing Machine Canyon, Kansas Using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Technology

Project ID: 7686
Principal Investigator: Thomas Lincoln
Research Topic: Condition Assessment
Funded Fiscal Years: 2008, 2009 and 2010
Keywords: None

Research Question

Hypothesis #1:

Application of LiDAR technology to the inventory and condition assessment of inscriptions pecked into limestone outcrops in Threshing Machine Canyon, Kansas will provide for improved management and protection of these irreplacable heritage asset sites and significantly reduce costs from traditional data collection and analysis methodologies.

Hypothesis #2:

Application of LiDAR will document fine-scale changes to a heritage assets condition, including natural erosive and depositional actions and both fine-scale and gross evidence of vandalism caused by human agency.

Need and Benefit

Reclamation's need is to provide greater protection of its heritage assets. This is especially true for fragile and rare examples of early-late 19th century inscription. A parallel need is to better manage Reclamation's heritage assets. Heritage assets are irreplaceable prehistoric and historic era properties; many Reclamation-owned dams, structures, buildings, and facilities are heritage assets. Both of these needs are necessary to facilitate Reclamation's annual reporting of the condition of its heritage assets and to withstand audits of the protective and accountability measures Reclamation employees to document asset condition.

Efficient data collection and analysis is a specific need for these activities and LiDAR will generate huge amounts of useful data more quickly and in much greater qualtity than conventional field data collection methods. In addition, we believe LiDAR will allow for the detection of subtle changes in the inscriptions caused by natural erosive factors as well as vandalism caused by human agency.

Contributing Partners

Contact the Principal Investigator for information about partners.

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

LiDAR Assists in Archaeological Site Preservation and Protection (final, PDF, 129KB)
By Thomas Lincoln
Publication completed on September 30, 2010

This bulletin summarizes the research results and potential application to Reclamation's mission.

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Last Updated: 6/22/20